One day, my Uncle saw a man around the property. He got on his horse and rode out to see what the man was doing. The man said that he was an artist and he was taking photographs of the land to paint. He said to my Uncle that he always wanted to paint a western scene and asked if he could take my Uncle’s picture on his horse, in which my Uncle said that he could. This is the painting.
These are pictures of a Montana sunset taken on my Uncle’s ranch in Jordan, MT
The next pictures are of Hell Creek (note that the pronunciation is “crick”, not creek) which is part of Fort Peck Damn. Fort Peck is one of the largest bodies of water after the Great Lakes. On the way to Hell Creek, you go thru the Jordan badlands which reminded me somewhat of the Grand Canyon
The next two pictures show the water of Hell Creek but the picture was taken of the mountains on the far side of the lake. Shortly after my Grampa had a heart attack, the family went to Jordan. Uncle Kenny, Dad, and some others went hunting elk in the mountains. Grampa couldn’t go because he was still recovering. Aunt Alice had baked some apple pies and when the hunters and rest of the family got home, Grampa had eaten most of the apple pie and just laughed saying how good it was. That’s why I call these the “Apple Pie Hills”
Now we are off to what we call “up the Canyon”. This is near the Big Sky ski resort between Bozeman, MT and Yellowstone National Park. The first set of pictures are of what we call the “ homestead”. My Great Grampa and Grama built the cabin and the house by the Gallatin river and it was a stage coach stop for traveler’s going to Yellowstone National Park. The property is in the “valley” which is at about 4600 feet above sea level, which is as high or higher than Snoqualmie and Steven’s pass in the Cascade Mtns.
View of house and cabin from near the rock bend
The next few pictures are views of the property. At one time, the property went back into the mountains on the other side of the hwy. Access was up Doe Creek road. The property was sold when the Forest Service traded the adjoining land to a developer.
The last slide showed the south end of the property. These woods are a favorite place of mine to chill. Every time I visit the homestead, I have to go there to check on the old Model T Ford and see how much more of it is buried. There are times this wooded area is flooded and each time more of the car is buried. When I was little, you could sit in the car. Now …
The next few pictures are of the one room cabin. It sits only a few feet from the Gallatin river. This is where we stayed when I was little and we came up the canyon. There is no running water and it is heated by a wood stove. The foundation was in disrepair so my Dad has been working on redoing the foundation. The foundation is done and the floor is ready to be put in, then chinking between the logs and it will be back to original condition.
These are pictures of the Gallatin river from in front of the cabin looking in front, north, and south. The campfire pit and camping area are located to the north of the cabin next to the river.
Gallatin river north of cabin near the firepit.
These are a couple pictures of the campfires I had while up the canyon this trip. When I was little, the first thing I would do, even as early as 8am, would be gather firewood. Then I would start askin, “can we have a fire now?” I have loved campfires since the time I could toddle. The original campfire pit by the cabin had to be filled while the cabin is being redone, so the family uses the one I built several years ago.
When I finally got tired of my parents saying “no fire until tonight” (haha) I would go to my MOST favorite spot on the property … The bend in the river. Here I would go to look for rocks, mainly agates and petrified wood, but sometimes an interesting rock just as well. From the time I can remember, I loved looking for these rocks, and I still love it. In fact, the first day I was there, I found an agate almost the size of my fist. This is where I find my peace.
One of the days I was there my Dad and I went for a ride on the ATV’s. Usually we go on horses, but let me tell ya, ATV’s are cool as hell! You can get to places a lot further and faster on an ATV. Now I still love to ride a horse, but the ATV was seriously fun. These pictures were taken on top of the mountains up Doe Creek road. At the highest point of the trail, we were at 9300 feet above sea level.
Mountains otherside of river, north of the cabin
The next three (3) pictures are looking south towards Yellowstone National Park. My Great Grampa helped survey the boundary lines for the park. He was one of the guides for the US Geological Survey team. While surveying the area, he found a site near Taylor’s Fork which he homesteaded for a while. Taylor’s Fork is about the middle of these pictures.
This next set of pictures were taken at the top of the trail up Doe Creek. The elevation here was 9300+ feet above sea level. Needless to say, the views were fantastic. And although we were that high, there were still mountains that towered over us.
Sphinx Mountain (Grama called it Bricktop Mountain)
Well, this is the end of my slideshow of my Trip to Montana. I still say that Montana is one the most beautiful places on earth. I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed being there and taking them.